Safety And Regulation of Herbs...
Herbal Medicines are not regulated
People must be just as careful about herbal remedies as they are about any other pharmaceutical product. The word natural does not mean safe. Only a few botanical medicines, with laxative or analgesic properties, have been approved as over-the-counter drugs. Most herbal products fall into the category of dietary supplement, which is neither a drug nor a food. The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 established this category. These supplements are not subject to rigorous testing or quality standards, and most botanicals fall into this category. As a result, herbals are not studied and analyzed as thoroughly as standard drugs.
What are the dangers of these products?
- First, a botanical formulation may be totally ineffective or useless.
The product may contain a herb, which is no absolutely no value in humans.
- Second, the consumer has no assurance that a medicinal herb product contains any of an active component or it contains harmful ingredients. Each time a consumer buys a product, it can contain no active ingredient, or different amounts.
A pharmaceutical medicine contains a known amount of a single active component; plants products often contain several active ingredients. The plant mixture may have several effects, which are antagonistic or synergistic.
- Chemicals in herbal products can cause interactions with pharmaceutical drugs as well.
- Other herbs have even been reported to have mutagenic effects or contain cancer-causing chemicals. Clearly, botanical products need to be rigorously studied and compared.
Herb Cautions : Things that you should know...
The overall subject of which herbs are safe and which are not, is always a big debate and often ends up confusing. To help you out, here are some of the herbs that could cause some sort of mild to moderate side effects:
- During pregnancy and lactation, you may avoid some type of herbs like alfalfa, aloe vera, angelica root, buckthorn bark, burdock root, ginger, ginseng, goldenseal, helonius root, motherwort, mugwort, myrrh, Oregon grape, rhubarb and vetiver. In essence, it is better off to avoid, anything that causes an increase in menstrual flow and those substances that induce abortion.
- You may also need to be on your guard, while purchasing commercially available and over the counter herbal drugs that are sold in pre-packaged forms. You may not be getting what you’re paying for these drugs. Most of the commercial drugs that are sold in the market contain inert fillers and very cheap quality additives which are very low in potency and effectiveness. As a result, you’ll need to take enough caution while purchasing herbs and their derivatives.
- The best alternative for anyone would be to create their own herbal medicine by using authenticated, fully organic and residue free ingredients